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Louisville crushes Jacksonville St. in home opener

Nov 18, 2014 - 4:11 AM Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Montrezl Harrell scored a game-high 15 points and seventh-ranked Louisville had no problems whatsoever in its home opener, rolling to an 88-39 shellacking of Jacksonville State.

Terry Rozier added 13 points and Wayne Blackshear tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a game Louisville (2-0) led 50-20 at halftime and was up by as many as 54 late.

"The passing was great, (as was) the unselfishness, the team play, the execution," Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino remarked. "But we were physically a much better basketball team with our size."

The overmatched Gamecocks (0-2) committed 20 turnovers and were outrebounded by a sound 60-26 margin while shooting 28 percent for the night. Darion Rackley was the lone Jacksonville State player in double figures, finishing with 11 points.

"This might be the best team we've played anywhere I've ever been," Jacksonville State coach James Green said of Louisville.

The Gamecocks were able to hang in through the game's first six minutes before Louisville's trademark pressure defense proved to way too much to handle.

Jacksonville State turned the ball over eight times during a 19-3 run that stretched a slim Cardinals' lead into a 32-13 advantage with seven minutes left in the opening half. Blackshear put up seven points over the course of the spurt.

Back-to-back buckets from D.J. Felder gave the Gamecocks some temporary momentum, but Louisville ripped off 18 straight points to take a commanding 50-17 lead before Jaquail Townser's trey in the final seconds of the half sent Jacksonville State into the break trailing by 30.

Felder knocked down a jumper to begin the second half, then the Gamecocks proceeded to go scoreless for the next 9 1/2 minutes as Louisville embarked on a 23-0 run to open up a 73-22 cushion.

Jacksonville State misfired on 14 consecutive shot attempts until Townser finally ended the drought with 9:07 to play.

Game Notes

Louisville finished with a 48-12 advantage in points in the pain and scored 31 points off Jacksonville State turnovers ... The Cardinals improved to 14-0 in home openers under Rick Pitino ... Chris Jones compiled 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals for Louisville ... Monday's matchup was part of the 2014 Global Sports Showcase, a five-team, round-robin event with Cleveland State, Marshall and Savannah State also participating. On Friday, the Gamecocks lost to Marshall, which will visit Louisville this Friday.